“Go home. There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preacher. Period, paragraph, end of discussion.”
These words shook the western Christian world last week. Prominent pastor John MacArthur verbally attacked Beth Moore,
speaker and woman’s ministry figurehead. All this took place during a Q&A at the “Truth Matters Conference” where MacArthur
received recognition for his 50 years in ministry. Unfortunately, he didn’t stop after saying those things. He continued to discredit
Moore’s ministry by mocking how she sells jewelry on television. The audience cheered as he continued, “There are people
who have certain hawking skills … that doesn’t qualify you to preach.”
“I think the church is caving in to women preachers,” MacArthur said. He went on to say how detrimental and horrifying it is
for culture to infiltrate the church.
What MacArthur fails to consider is the foundational goal of Christianity—the spread of the gospel, grace and love that
people will ultimately hear. Beth Moore has led thousands of people to Christ through her televangelism and books. She has
seen and spoken to millions of people throughout her life and career. Moore identifies as a complementarian, which is the belief
in traditional gender roles—men as leaders and women as helpers. Essentially, men and women are divinely organized to work
best in their strengths in these roles.
One fact that MacArthur disregards is that Moore does not identify herself as a preacher. She prefers terms like Bible
teacher, author and evangelist. She does not represent a specific church and does not pastor in the traditional sense. This
incident is infuriating for a couple of reasons. Whatever your stance on the biblical interpretation of women in leadership in the
church, this arrogant outburst from a respected Christian leader is unbelievable and un-Christ-like. Touting his political and
social opinions as biblical fact is a dangerous and irresponsible game to play. When he refused to approach his opinions
through a lens of love and Christ-like humility, he lost all of my respect for his position and accomplishments.
If a man has achieved such a level of recognition and power that he forgets the hallmark tradition of “Above all, love each
other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins,” then he does not deserve the seat he has won. Setting aside the
racial and anti-feminist rhetoric he spouts with no biblical references, MacArthur embodies a brand of Christianity that should be
condemned. In an increasingly divisive world, the last thing that should influence our faith is our personal politics.
Comments like John MacArthur’s deserve critique and rejection. The backlash from the Christian community he has
received is promising and shines a light on a generation of Christian leaders who are truly embodying Christ, even during a
difference of opinion.